City of Austin explores ways to stop e-scooters from ending up in lake

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin is planning a two-year study to explore the ways it can limit littering into Austin’s waterway — including electronic scooter litter.

The study will search for solutions to discourage people from throwing electronic scooters into local lakes and creeks, according to a city memo released Tuesday.

Last year, when a wave of electronic scooter companies made their presence in Austin, there were several reports of scooters discovered submerged in the Lady Bird Lake water. Electronic scooter company Lime was at least one scooter company expected to receive a notice of violation after numerous scooters were found in the water.

The memo states the Austin Transportation Department is developing signs near waterways warning the public that dumping into waterways, which includes dockless devices or e-scooters, is punishable by fines up to $2,000.

Soon the ATD and the Watershed Protection Department will partner together to locate any previously unseen electronic scooters remaining in Lady Bird Lake using underwater drones and sonar technologies, according to the memo.

ATD is asking for information from current e-scooter providers on what measures they have taken other cities and can take in Austin to prevent the dumping of scooters. ATD has also distributed a survey to its National Association of City Transportation partner cities searching for other methods used to prevent illegal dumping of e-scooters, the memo states.

The City expects to have a complete, final report developed in June 2022, but initial assessments and reports on findings are expected to be complete in April 2020.

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